The Good, The Bad And The Quirky
The MarineLand Portrait and Contour 5 gallon nano tanks bring lots to the table for aquarium hobbyists at a competitive price, whether it is its sleek, rimless aesthetic or what is included in the kit.
What Is Included?
One 5 gallon, 14" x 9.5" x 9.5" glass tank (personally, I think this glasswork alone makes this entire kit worth it)
Rounded corners, providing a sleek and rimless look
Glass cover to combat water evaporation (and perfect for jumpers like betta fish!)
A plastic base to place the tank on for aesthetic and functional needs
Plastic filter cover
A black plastic wall separating the rear filtration compartment and the main viewing compartment
Mechanical filtration via (1) filter cartridge floss
Chemical filtration via (1) activated carbon filter cartridge
Biological filtration via (1) Bio-Foam sponge block
Adjustable flow filter pump
A 15 LED light strip
Separate plugs for the light and the pump, giving consumers the option to use timers for the lighting (something you may not always get in kits like these!)
To see the difference in lighting between the contour and the portrait, look at this post titled "Marineland 5 Gallon Tank Comparison: ML90609 (Portrait) vs ML90611 (Contour)"
The Plentiful Pros
Easy to clean tank area
Smaller footprint since it is horizontal
Motor is delightfully silent, even at maximum flow rate
A cord notch on the black wall separating the filter portion from the tank portion
Rear compartment hides all of the wires and accessories from the viewing area of the tank, resulting in a minimalist look
Adjustable output nozzle from the filter
Thick glass (3/16" thick)
Modern, minimalist tank shape
Simple day/off/night switch, unlike the cumbersome click-to-cycle LEDs found in many other nano-aquariums lights
Glass cover leaves tiny gaps (which doubles as a feeding hole)
The Casual Cons
The rear compartment for the filter is very narrow
Despite the small footprint, the sacrifice is horizontal swimming space which may be preferred for some fish
Light construction is plastic
Plastic cover for the rear compartment is flimsy and ill-fitting (this is honestly the cheapest part of this tank, but after owning the tank for a few months, it does its job)
Significant amount of debris (dead plant material, etc.) can collect in the rear compartment*
Light is insufficient for growing high- to medium-light plants*
Base relies on rubber padded friction and is not directly attached to tank
Technically holds 5 gallons of water (even with a 1 inch distance from the top edge), but because of the design, your fish will technically have 3.5 - 4 gallons of water to swim in
Flow rate from powerhead at lowest setting alone is still strong for betta fish*
No heater included*
*There are workarounds to some of these cons with cheap, easy DIY modifications as shown here on "10 Cheap/DIY Modifications For Your 5 Gallon Marineland Fish Tank To Betta-Proof It"
Overall, you really cannot beat this tank for the price considering not only what is included but also the sleek aesthetics of this overall package. This nano tank would make a great addition to any office, desktop space, kitchen or fish room (assuming you take very good care of its inhabitants!)
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